9th Annual Lebowski Fest
Featuring Felice Brothers and The Seedy Seeds
Executive Spare & Strike Lawn
7/16/10 & 7/17/10
So me and a couple of my goofball friends loaded into the car and drove
to Louisville for the 9th annual Lebowski Fest,
celebrating all things "The Big Lebowski". It was bands, games,
movie viewings, bowling, and what-have-you.For a
slightly more detailed, photo-heavy review of this trip, just look at this
here entry from the "Photo Journal" section of this
On the first night, after my partners-in-crime had preloaded for the
event with so many White Russians that they each
ingested a half-gallon of half and half (would that mean they each had
a "quarter and quarter"?), we strolled over to the
event and watched a little live music. I forget who the first
band was because I was too busy looking at the merch table
and marveling over the fact that there were actually good looking girls
at the event, but they were some rootsy/folky
affair that neither impressed or irritated me. There was probably
a banjo involved, or at least there should have been.
But then the headliners of the Fest, The Felice Brothers, came out
and entertained the masses with their American
rock that is pretty damn reminiscent of when the Band and Bob Dylan
joined forces. Their records are decidedly
mellow affairs for the most part, but live they're a raucous group that
sacrifice a little bit of musicality for the sake of an
upbeat, engaging gig. If you held me to gun point I'd probably
claim to like the records better, but it was still a damn fine
performance. And without a doubt it easily topped any other show
I've seen in the "number of times a washboard is
used as an instrument" category. No jug blowing though, which is
obviously disappointing. When the Felice Brothers
finished playing they climbed on top of their RV parked near the stage
and joined the crowd in watching "The Big
Lebowski" in the open air. I don't have any proof but I'm betting
that's one of the best possible endings to any live
The following day's festivities were held in the afternoon under a
glaring sun, and combined with the hangovers from
too much liquored-up dairy the previous night...well, we didn't last
long. There was some local fat rapper called the
Kentucky Prophet doing his thing when we got there, and as much as I
love a fat rapper ("Disorderlies" is one of my
favorite films after all) he wasn't doing it for me. But the band
after him, The Seedy Seeds, were pretty
able. I didn't know dick about them, but apparently they were
from nearby Cincinnati and had sort of a folk-electronica
vibe. The three piece had pre-recorded beats accompanied by a
really talented drummer playing along with them, and
the other two playing some combination of guitar and banjo. I
liked it - they had the boy/girl combo vocals kinda like
Rainer Maria or Mates of State...but not shitty music like those
bands. The group also got bonus points for dressing in
costumes for the fest as "Strangers in the Alps", a reference to the
sanitized version of the film where the phrase "This
is what it's like to fuck a stranger in the ass" is changed to "This is
what it's like to find a stranger in the Alps". Brilliant
really, and a great weekend.
with Ryan Gustaffson
SUPERCHUNK! Let the record show that this band was, is and
continues to be one the awesomest awesomers of
all time. These are indisputable facts, folks.
But first, there was an opener - Ryan Gustafson. I remember
back in the day every Superchunk opener was another
Merge artist, but now they're tapping the resources of the local
hot-shit loose-knit gathering of musicians and bands
known as the Drughorse Collective. Not to be confused the pretty
awesome metal band from the Bay Area Drunk
Horse. All I know is I wouldn't want to be around a drugged horse
or a drunk horse, as those fuckers are scary enough
sober. And I'm rambling, so this review is going as expected.
As for what Mr. Gustafson sounds like - well, not unlike many of the
other Drughorse acts, they walk a fine line between
power pop and folky alt-country croonings. The best of his upbeat
songs reminded me a lot of Sloan, and the mellower
tracks I couldn't place a comparison, but was quite good. I liked
the pop songs the most, but with his fantastic voice he
could "sing the phonebook" as they say and it would make for a good
It was an interesting show for local kings of the scene, Superchunk...apparently
the set list was made up almost en-
tirely of requests (from the Merge staff I think, and maybe some other
randoms), which resulted in a show that was
heaven for super fans like me but much less exciting for the people I
knew there who had never seen the Chunk before.
Requests from a band by long time fans usually means one thing - lots
of old songs. They basically played the entire
"On the Mouth" album - "I Guess I Remembered It Wrong", "Precision
Auto", "For Tension", "From the Curve"...hell,
they even played "On the Mouth" which was the b-side of the "Mower"
single (and could also be found on "Incidental
Music", the second of their singles comps). Some other noteworthy
tracks that night were "Sidewalk", which the band
claimed had only been played live once, and a couple of new songs, one
("Digging for Something") which features
John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats on backing vocals, and luckily he
was at the show to provide them in person.
And also dance around the stage like a spazz, which delighted everyone
in attendance to no end.
At the end of the set and during the encores they hit some of their
highlights, "slack Motherfucker" and "Hyper Enough"
and "Water Wings"...the sort of songs that get all us old folks pogoing
around like we did back in the early nineties.
And let it be known the crowd was quite ancient - these days I'm that
creepy old dude that I used to make fun of in my
early twenties, but I was feeling pretty young and spry with this
group. But young, old, ugly or bold, I'll suffer any indig-
nation or categorization to see the glory of Superchunk live.
I was told I really needed to see Mount Moriah, so I got off my
duff and made it happen. I'd heard Heather McEntyre
sing with her other band Bellefea - good voice, interesting music, but
I didn't get too overly excited about the act. But
Mount Moriah is an altogether different beast - beautiful,
country-tinged folk with amazing vocals, impressive musician-
ship and hooks for days. An instant contender for one of my new
favorite local bands. Her voice reminds me quite a
bit of Shannon Wright, but the songs are of a much higher
quality. Quarterstick records should sign this band post
haste, assuming they are still around, which I doubt is accurate and
I'm too lazy to do the research myself. Hell, while
I'm signing them to defunct labels let's but them on Jesus Christ and
Teenbeat too. The bottom line is this band needs
to be seen or heard or ideally, seen and heard.
"When I see them all
running like that, with their things bouncing around in their shorts, I
always picture them naked,
even if I don't want to. All I see is pork swords."
Barzin - Soft
Summer Girls. One of the greatest folk-ish singers in
the world and not nearly enough folks know it.
Go Driving (Resonance FM Glass Shrimp
Hey it's a Coconut Records
mini-mix! Any Fun Microphone Nighttiming Summer Day West Coast
Pas/Cal - Citizen's
Army Uniform. Really good glam-pop. Not as
awesome or interesting as Destroyer, but some-
where in the same neighborhood.
Were Too Old For Me.
Pavement - Here
(Peel Session). I don't want to get too complicated in
this description, but these are Peel session
versions of Pavement songs.
Sutcliffe Catering Song (Peel Session).
Raekwon & Ghostface - Ghost
Is Back. I can't express how rad it is that Rae and
Ghost (or whatever producer/DJ
decided to do it) took the tune from Eric B. & Rakim's "Juice" and
wrote a new song for it.
Skip Jensen & His Shakin' Feet -
Weirdos. I think I might like the name of this band
more than their music,
but the tunes are still decent.
The Real Kids - All
Kindsa Girls. I know I've probably posted this song
before, maybe multiple times, but it's be-
cause it's one of the greatest pop songs of all time.
The Sea And Cake - Aerial.
Sea & Cake sounds like Sea & Cake.